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Title: Photonuclear Contributions to SNS Pulse Shapes

Abstract

Short-pulsed sources like the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and ISIS produce bursts of neutron pulses at rates of 10-60 Hz, with sub-microsecond proton pulses impacting on high-Z target materials. Moderators are grouped around the target to receive the fast neutrons generated from spallation reactions to moderate them effciently to thermal and sub-thermal energies and to feed narrow neutron pulses to neutron scattering instruments. The scattering instruments use the neutrons as a probe for material investigations, and make use of time-of-flight (TOF) methods for resolving the neutron energy. The energy resolution of scattering instruments depends on the narrow time-structure of the neutron pulses, while neutrons in the long tail of the emission time distributions can degrade the instrument performance and add undesired background to measurements. The SNS neutronics team is investigating a possible source term impacting the background at short-pulsed spallation sources. The ISIS TS2 project claims to have significantly reduced neutron scattering instrument background levels by the elimination or reduction of iron shielding in the target-moderator-reflector assembly. An alternative hypothesis, also proposed by ISIS, suggests that this apparent reduction arises from moving beamline shielding away from the neutron guide channels, reducing albedo down the beamlines. In both hypotheses, the backgroundmore » neutrons in question are believed to be generated by photonuclear reactions. If the background neutrons are indeed generated via photonuclear channels, then they are generated in a time-dependent fashion, since most of the high-energy photons capable of inducing photonuclear production are gone within a few microseconds following the proton pulse. To evaluate this e ect, we have enabled photonuclear reactions in a series of studies for the SNS first target station (FTS) taking advantage of its Monte Carlo model. Using a mixture of ENDF/B VII.0 and TENDL-2014 photonuclear cross sections available and the CEM03 physics model within MCNPX 2.6.0 in the simulation, we are able to estimate the impact of photoneutron production on both overall neutron production and delayed neutron production. We find that a significant number of photon-induced neutrons are produced a few milliseconds after the proton pulse, following prompt gamma emission through the capture of neutrons in the slowing-down and thermalization processes. We name these "slowing-down delayed neutrons" to distinguish them from either "activation-delayed neutrons" or "beta-delayed neutrons." The beta-delayed and activation-delayed neutrons were not part of this study, and will be addressed elsewhere. While these other delayed neutron channels result in the time-independent (constant) production of fast neutrons outside of the prompt pulse, the slowing-down delayed neutrons also a ect the shape of the pulses. Although numerically insignificant in most cases, we describe a set of scenarios related to T0-chopper operation in which the slowing-down delayed neutrons may be important.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1346677
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2016/758
KC0402010; ERKCSND
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

McClanahan, Tucker C., Iverson, Erik B., and Gallmeier, Franz X. Photonuclear Contributions to SNS Pulse Shapes. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1346677.
McClanahan, Tucker C., Iverson, Erik B., & Gallmeier, Franz X. Photonuclear Contributions to SNS Pulse Shapes. United States. doi:10.2172/1346677.
McClanahan, Tucker C., Iverson, Erik B., and Gallmeier, Franz X. Wed . "Photonuclear Contributions to SNS Pulse Shapes". United States. doi:10.2172/1346677. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1346677.
@article{osti_1346677,
title = {Photonuclear Contributions to SNS Pulse Shapes},
author = {McClanahan, Tucker C. and Iverson, Erik B. and Gallmeier, Franz X.},
abstractNote = {Short-pulsed sources like the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and ISIS produce bursts of neutron pulses at rates of 10-60 Hz, with sub-microsecond proton pulses impacting on high-Z target materials. Moderators are grouped around the target to receive the fast neutrons generated from spallation reactions to moderate them effciently to thermal and sub-thermal energies and to feed narrow neutron pulses to neutron scattering instruments. The scattering instruments use the neutrons as a probe for material investigations, and make use of time-of-flight (TOF) methods for resolving the neutron energy. The energy resolution of scattering instruments depends on the narrow time-structure of the neutron pulses, while neutrons in the long tail of the emission time distributions can degrade the instrument performance and add undesired background to measurements. The SNS neutronics team is investigating a possible source term impacting the background at short-pulsed spallation sources. The ISIS TS2 project claims to have significantly reduced neutron scattering instrument background levels by the elimination or reduction of iron shielding in the target-moderator-reflector assembly. An alternative hypothesis, also proposed by ISIS, suggests that this apparent reduction arises from moving beamline shielding away from the neutron guide channels, reducing albedo down the beamlines. In both hypotheses, the background neutrons in question are believed to be generated by photonuclear reactions. If the background neutrons are indeed generated via photonuclear channels, then they are generated in a time-dependent fashion, since most of the high-energy photons capable of inducing photonuclear production are gone within a few microseconds following the proton pulse. To evaluate this e ect, we have enabled photonuclear reactions in a series of studies for the SNS first target station (FTS) taking advantage of its Monte Carlo model. Using a mixture of ENDF/B VII.0 and TENDL-2014 photonuclear cross sections available and the CEM03 physics model within MCNPX 2.6.0 in the simulation, we are able to estimate the impact of photoneutron production on both overall neutron production and delayed neutron production. We find that a significant number of photon-induced neutrons are produced a few milliseconds after the proton pulse, following prompt gamma emission through the capture of neutrons in the slowing-down and thermalization processes. We name these "slowing-down delayed neutrons" to distinguish them from either "activation-delayed neutrons" or "beta-delayed neutrons." The beta-delayed and activation-delayed neutrons were not part of this study, and will be addressed elsewhere. While these other delayed neutron channels result in the time-independent (constant) production of fast neutrons outside of the prompt pulse, the slowing-down delayed neutrons also a ect the shape of the pulses. Although numerically insignificant in most cases, we describe a set of scenarios related to T0-chopper operation in which the slowing-down delayed neutrons may be important.},
doi = {10.2172/1346677},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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